The warm autumn sun shone a gentle orange glow on Mt. Pisgah Friday afternoon,as the first Faerieworld’s Harvest Celebration commenced their weekend long festivities. Faeries, pixies, and all other manner of legendary folklore creatures funneled through the entrance gates, eager to commune together in music, dance, food, drink and many other celebratory offerings.
Inspired by the artistic creations of UK based Brian and Wendy Froud, the celebration honors the cycles of the seasons. Event co-coordinator, Kimmy Smith, told EDN that the festival is designed to “acknowledge the abundance of the Pacific Northwest and promote local consciousness regarding farms…and inspire local people to celebrate and express their connections to nature.” She stated that their intention is to provide a space for all to initiate conversation of how their personal connection to nature sustains and inspires them. Co-coordinator, Emelio Miller-Lopez, said that to him, “breakthrough comes for many who attend with the unity that comes from the meaningful sense of community that is fostered from having one united focus on a singular main stage”. He contrasted this unique aspect of the Faerieworld’s Harvest Celebration with many mainstream music festivals that feature multiple stages, where a division of attention tends to occur, providing a diverse, but sometimes disconnected experience. Emilio also stated that an important aspect of the celebration is the bridging of art, music, and literature into a cohesive visual and auditory experience. Smith also told EDN that Faerieworld’s prior summer celebrations have been “known for reaching a broad international audience” in regards to musicians, vendors, as well as those in attendance, stating that “approximately 75% of attendees are from out of town”.
Sporting carpet and ball pythons wrapped around their necks, celebration-goers Michelle and Steve from Portland, came to Faerieworld’s Harvest Celebration “to enjoy the joy of harvest.” Steve told EDN that they brought the snakes to the festival to promote the notion that “the more you know, the less you fear”. According to Michelle, her favorite part of the celebration so far has been a troll roaming the grounds chasing children with a spongy hammer. She said that she would encourage anyone who hasn’t been to a Faerieworld’s event to attend because “it’s an experience you’ll never forget”. Something tells me she’s right.
Lining the perimeter of the festival were several local, regional, and international artist and vendor tents. The first vendor/artisan tent as you enter the gates is that of Faerieworld’s regulars, Ventura, California based Sylvan Woods. Here festival goers can buy hand crafted items such as faerie wings, crowns, wands, and flower hats. Artist and co-owner, Sylvia Cochrane, told EDN that she and co-owner, Will Pullen, typically attend Reniscannce Fairs and Mardis Gras celebrations, but “love this because it is faerie-specific”. Cochrane said of the festival that “anyone who hasn’t been, needs to come and see it, come out and play, or just people watch.” She states that the beauty of the celebration is that it “allows for people to become like a child, and as a child be filled with wonderment for all that the universe has to hold; faeries understand that wonder.”
New to the Faerieworld’s vendor lineup were Unicorns n’ Dragons owners and creators, Peggy and Gordon Hayes hailing from Oregon City, Oregon. This artist couple specializes in the creation of companion sculptures based on fantasy literature. Their posable dragons and other magical creatures are crafted from faux leather, clay and latex. Peggy Hayes told EDN that they were drawn to the “versatility, diversity and music offered by the Faerieworlds Harvest Festival”, as they typically market their wares at Sci-Fi conventions, doll and teddy bear shows and on their website.
Other vendors and artists in attendance offered their handmade animal pelts, organically grown vegetables, local wines and food, glass flutes, journals, and a plethora of Gaelic inspired items. If you are looking to relax, rather than shop……Puck’s Grotto, a tent devoted to sitting and being served locally crafted beer from Ninkasi, and adorned in tapestries and cushy floor pillows, provides a refreshing haven from the outer intensities of the festival.
Taking the main stage in the afternoon was SJ Tucker, filling the air with magical and mystical tunes, inspiring all to join together in vibrant dance. Other musicians bringing their talents to the stage through the weekend include Delhi 2 Dublin, Faun, and Mood Area 52 among many others.
The enchanting sights and sounds of the Faerieworlds Harvest Celebration are not to be overlooked. If you missed out on this years festivities, start planning to make it to next years celebration. You won’t regret it!
Story by Elisha Shumaker, EDN
Photos by Brandon Preo, EDN